NxGn: Finally a Big Guy Among The Best, Pick Number 2- Lebanese Basketball
25 Apr.2017– Lebanese players have never been known for their size or height but rather turn to speed, teamwork, and shooting to overcome the strongest of opponents. Our national team has been naturalizing a Center since the beginning of times ( Geron and Jay came in kind of overlooked tournaments ). Genetics do play a role, so we feel privileged when we see players like Ali Haidar proving himself as one of the best in his position. Yet one player whose shares have risen recently is Gerard Hadidian, and he is our pick number 2.
Since his early childhood, Gerard was attracted to the game of Basketball. His height advantage over his peers made him one of the most influential figures of his age. Needless to say what an extra 10 cm can do at the age of 15! Gerard started at Hoops Club under coach Rabih Francis where he learned the basics of the game and grew into a dominant figure down low.
He quickly caught the eye of the U16 National team coaching staff who then selected him to compete in the Asian Championship and even moved on with the U18s to play in another Asian Championship a couple of years later. Both were a major experience in the teenager’s career and gave him the experience and self-confidence he needed at the time.
Willing to evolve and take his game to a whole other level, Hadidian flew to the United States where he played for the State of Illinois at the collegiate level. He gained a lot of experience, improved his skills and technique in different aspects of the game as well as his understanding of the game. You only get better when playing against the best.
After finishing his American experience Gerard came back home and signed with Animation Zouk in the second division as they were fighting for promotion (2015-2016). Yet they fell just short, coming second in the finals of D2. With coach Paul Caughter taking the reigns at Tadamon, Hadidian signed his first D1 contract with Tadamon Zouk and has been doing well so far. He’s averaging 4.32 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 0.44 bpg in 14.2 minutes. Not bad for a rookie, keeping in mind that he takes on many foreigners on his position.
Gerard is one of those big men that can run the floor swiftly, moving from defense to offense in a heartbeat. Keeping in mind his size, his physique and offensive savvy have earned him more than a few comparisons with the likes of Ali Haidar and Bassel Bawji. His defensive presence and timing to swat any ball is something to look out for. He’s also a guy who can play down low as well as spreading the defense and take his shot when given the space. Still, it begs some obvious questions. Is he undersized for a PF or too slow for a SF ? What we can surely say, he has his style of his own and while he’s still working to progress and improve daily there is no stopping him. Keep going hard, you have a big load on your shoulders, you wearing 15 aren’t you?